As businesses across British Columbia struggle to fill job openings, a large group of potential workers find themselves under-represented in the workplace. There are currently 334,000 British Columbians aged 15-64 that have a disability. These individuals form an important talent pool that is largely untapped. A major reason for this? The lack of accessible features in many modern workplaces.
Interested in improving your accessibility and tapping into this deep pool of talent? The good news is, funding is available to make your small business friendlier for employees with disabilities
How Does It Work?
Under Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF), your small business could receive a grant of up to $100,000 to use toward removing barriers to accessibility. The program is intended to be used toward the following workplace additions:
- The construction, renovation or retrofit of workplaces, which could include the construction of access ramps and accessible offices and washrooms and the installation of elevators; and
- The provision of accessible information and communication technologies for work use such as braille printers, accessible computer software, and visual alarm systems
The EAF is currently accepting grant funding applications for projects that will increase accessibility in workplaces and community spaces across Canada. The Government of Canada will provide 65% of the total eligible costs of a project, up to a maximum of $100,000, to successful project applicants.
How Do I Qualify?
Applications are open until July 26, 2018, for small businesses who meet the following criteria:
- A business with 99 full-time equivalent employees or less;
- A not-for-profit organization;
- A municipality with a population under 125,000 as per the 2016 census data;
- An Indigenous organization (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities); or
- A territorial government.
If you would like to apply for funding or learn more about these funding opportunities, please visit the Enabling Accessibility Fund website.